Joe Devlin, Boston Scientific, Cork, Dermot Condron, Mersus, Ann Walsh, Boston Scientific, Cork, Brenda Mannion, Mersus, Leon Harney and Henry Gaudet, Mersus.

Second national award for Athlone-based Mersus

Athlone software company, Mersus Technologies last week lifted its second national award in six months. Mersus won the ‘Best Training & Development Program’ category at the annual Irish Manufacturing Research Manufacturing and Supply Chain Awards.

The event was organised by Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR), the government body for research in Ireland’s vibrant advanced manufacturing industries.

The award, sponsored by IBEC, recognises Mersus’s enterprise software platform “Avatar Academy'' as the best in class. Avatar Academy utilises virtual reality to train people in simulated work environments. Mersus worked with global life science leader, Boston Scientific to win out over the stiff competition. The winning program used the Avatar Academy platform to digitise a highly sophisticated process, and then transfer the tacit knowledge from the UK back to the Boston Scientific (BSCI) site in Cork.

The Avatar Academy platform uses computer gaming technology to recreate virtual laboratories and cleanrooms, allowing employees to familiarise themselves with a work environment and processes. Working at their own pace from any location, staff learn how to carry out any task. Thomas Quilty, Fellow, Process Engineering at Boston Scientific, sums it upL “Using Avatar Academy, in the space of a day, you can run six or seven times the same training process that previously would take four or five weeks. I think this is the cutting edge of training and it brought many benefits while lessening the impact for ongoing production. Introducing entire processes or production lines into a virtual environment has huge benefits in terms of the impact to ongoing production.”

From its base in Golden Island, Mersus has developed this software platform which holds immense value for life science operations so prominent across Ireland. Skills training is in high demand, with many companies struggling to fill positions in ever-expanding operations. The strong demand for talent is driving competition, and transitioning new operators onto production lines faster is an attractive proposition for these companies.

Brenda Mannion COO at Mersus stated: ‘‘The award recognises the effort of years of development that have gone into building this revolutionary platform. In a tough market, Mersus has an enviable pipeline of talent, all of whom want to work on this exciting new frontier that is Virtual Reality. The true success behind Mersus isn't just the technology. It’s the pride that lies in training, developing and nurturing the talent that creates it. This award is a testament to the ingenuity, skill and professionalism of the staff of Mersus Technologies.”

Founder Geoffrey Allen said: ‘Our roots are deep in the region. Where better to locate than in the middle of Ireland? Mersus is following in the footsteps of established software companies here in Athlone like Ericsson, Huawei, Siderio, Zinkworks and Smart Business Analytics. Athlone is one of Europe's leading software clusters.

“Sidero’s recent win as Tech Excellence Company of the Year and our success as Best Emerging Technology at the Irish Times Innovation Awards point to a vibrant local tech sector.”